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Thread: Feedback on future hardware shopping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Support and compatibility questions 64bit/hd3870/mobo

    Hi guys!
    I am going to buy a new rig some time soon, and It is going to be based on a 64bit AMD and AMD graphics, so im looking for some feedback on this future hardware, mainly how the motherboard/GPU/CPU would play togheter with a 64bit OS(Debian testing)

    The hardware in question is:
    *AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition Quad-Core 2.5 GHz
    *Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4, AMD 790X, DDR2, Socket-AM2+, ATX,GbLAN, 2xPCI-Ex(2.0)x16
    *Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 512MB GDDR4, PCI-Express 2.0, "Ultimate Edition"

    Needless to say, I'm planning to use the binary Catalyst driver for the GPU...

    In addition to this I will use 4GB of RAM...
    Last edited by slanbarn; 08-01-2008 at 01:49 AM. Reason: clarifying post title

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    I have that motherboard running Ubuntu 8.04 amd64. It was really unstable with the F2 firmware that came with it, but since upgrading to the latest firmware it's been fine. Before it wouldn't even get past POST with the virtualisation extensions or Cool&Quiet enabled - I'm now running with virtualisation enabled, but I haven't tried it in any VMs, and I haven't enabled C&Q. I don't have a Black Edition, so I can't say anything about overclocking performance, but all the options are there in the BIOS and it all works on paper.
    As for the Catalyst drivers, I haven't got them working in my 64-bit install, but I'm fairly confident it's user error, because I did a fresh install of a clean (albeit 32-bit) OS and the driver worked fine.
    I'm not sure whether to recommend the Gigabyte motherboard or not - it works fine for me, and it's great value, but people that dislike them do with a passion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Well as long as you want 3d with full speed using a binary driver the current fglrx driver is a really bad shape. You can not use it with Xserver 1.5(RC) - the problems began with Fedora Core 9 (somehow you could downgrade to 1.4 there) but for Ubuntu/intrepid you have got lost currently - only new nvidia cards do work there (or onboard Intel - partly older ATI).

  4. #4
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    Okey, doesnt really sound reassuing :/

    As grantek said, the price of this motherboard is right and to reply to Kano, I'm getting nervous thinking of buying ATI graphics card... I have always used nVIDIA chips, and it has worked fine all the time, but ofcourse, you get curious about the new AMD opensource-initiative..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Well as long as you want 3d with full speed using a binary driver the current fglrx driver is a really bad shape. You can not use it with Xserver 1.5(RC) - the problems began with Fedora Core 9 (somehow you could downgrade to 1.4 there) but for Ubuntu/intrepid you have got lost currently - only new nvidia cards do work there (or onboard Intel - partly older ATI).
    What about the opensource driver then? radeonhd is it? What the differences in terms of supported functions between the open driver and catalyst? for the hd3870 chip?

  6. #6
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    I bought a 3870 and I got a mixed bag. So far:
    3d works great. ut2004 is a lot faster AND more beautifull than with my 8600gt
    2d is faster (kde4.1) than with the 8600. Not perfect but a huge improvement nonetheless.
    Video sucks with xv. xshm works fine.
    googleearth flickers a lot. Less with Xrender set in KDE4.1
    switching to a vt is ok. Switching back is not (not a problem, I don't use the vts).
    Login out of KDE results in a lockup, logout with ctrl-alt-backspace works fine.

    Oh, and I would never use a system without cool'n'quiet. The difference in heat, noise and used power is amazing. For gaming I am switching to 'performance' for desktop it is back to 'ondemand' - easily done with kpowersafe

  7. #7
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    Oh, mixed bag indeed..
    Have to do some thinking.. havent decided on ATI/nVIDIA yet...

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
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    I got a HD3850 on an Ubuntu Hardy machine as my main desktop. Runs Compiz and games very well. Movies are fine as long as they're in fullscreen (which is rather annoying at times).
    I got a laptop with a 200M running KDE4.1 and it runs rather smoothly. Composition w/ opengl is a bit slow, but I blame that on the compositor itself (Compiz with the same level of eye candy runs better on that same machine). Watching videos is more of a pain here due to flickering (even when fullscreen). I can also confirm that hard lock when loging out as well.
    As long as you run a "non-bleeding edge" distro you should be fine. 2.6.26 support should be coming out by this next driver release (no word on xserver1.5 yet).

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